Punjabi Newspapers Using Gurdwaras to Promote Anti-Sikh Views

California, USA— Punjabi newspapers are ubiquitous at Gurdwaras across North America, and around the World. Elder sangat members rely on these newspapers to report and access news regarding the local community and Punjab. These newspapers use Gurdwaras as a way to disseminate their free newspapers and rely solely on advertising for revenue. After a recent visit to Fremont Gurdwara located in Northern California, USA, a  Sikh24 reader emailed us about a disturbing trend he witnessed in these papers. The reader emailed us multiple pictures of these newspapers showing open advertising and promotion of anti-Sikh practices via op-ed articles.

One example comes from the September 12, 2013 edition of Sanjhi Soch. In the article, the paper published multiple pictures of half-dressed female actors. These photographs of half-dressed women would not be acceptable in a family environment, and are definitely not acceptable in a Gurdwara setting. Sikh24 is still trying to discern what “Sanjhi Soch” (Shared Wisdom) these pictures represent.

A picture of the newspaper Sade Lok, which is also widely distributed in California, was also shared with Sikh24. Our source pointed to one article in particular. The article titled Jayotrilinga Astha te Shardha by the Editor-in-Chief, Satnam Singh “Khalsa” discusses the good qualities of Shivling pooja, a Hindu practice, shunned by Sikhs. The article starts by discussing the Hindu Temple in Sunnyvale, California, how it was built, and how the temple has idols of multiple Hindu gods and godesses.

What is troubling is Satnam Singh’s decision to use the words “Pavitar Moortian” to describe the idols. The whole article is based on the premise of how worship of these idols is a positive act full of faith. This would be completely alright had the article been written by a Hindu, but the fact that Satnam Singh wrote this under his name, used the name “Khalsa,” and then disseminated these views in Gurdwaras across California is troubling.

Gurbani states “ਜੋ ਪਾਥਰ ਕਉ ਕਹਤੇ ਦੇਵ ॥ ਤਾ ਕੀ ਬਿਰਥਾ ਹੋਵੈ ਸੇਵ ॥ ਜੋ ਪਾਥਰ ਕੀ ਪਾਂਈ ਪਾਇ ॥ ਤਿਸ ਕੀ ਘਾਲ ਅਜਾਂਈ ਜਾਇ ॥1॥ Those who call a stone their god, their service is useless. Those who fall at the feet of a stone god, their work is wasted in vain. ||1||”  Sikh24 editors attempted to contact Satnaam Singh “Khalsa” in regards to this issue but received no response.

In his article, “Khalsa” Describes the Hindu god Shiva as “ਮਹਾਂਦੇਵ ” whereas Guru Gobind Singh Jee in Choupai Sahib states “ਮਹਾਂਦੇਵ ਕੌ ਕਹਤ ਸਦਾ ਸ਼ਿਵ ॥ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ਕਾ ਚੀਨਤ ਨਹਿ ਭਿਵ ॥ He calls Shiva The Eternal Lord, but he does not know the secret of the (One) Formless Lord.”

Just last month Satnam Singh “Khalsa” was seen taking pictures with excommunicated Professor Darshan. It seems odd that Professor Darshan’s supporters who falsely claim Dasam Granth is being promoted by RSS are in turn writing articles about idol worship. We leave it to our readers to draw their own conclusions.

In addition to the editorial,  in the same issue of Saade Lok, there was a full page liquor ad. We feel this advertising of alcohol through Gurdwaras is inappropriate and urge Gurdwaras worldwide to take a stand against papers who promote alcohol.

Although Sikh24 believes these papers have the right to advertise or report whatever they wish, we believe their choice of using Gurdwaras as a means of distribution ought to be stopped if these advertisements and articles are not removed. We hope Gurdwaras take the initiative and put pressure on such newspapers for their anti-gurmat practices.



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